Taylor Grove: Food Resilience in the Face of Global Nuclear War
From Emily Bush-Clark on April 16th, 2020
In this presentation I will introduce the tertiary implications of a global catastrophe through the
lens of Civic & Community Engagement. As part of an ongoing Penn State research project run by the College of Agricultural Sciences, I have spent much of this past year researching the political, social,environmental, and economic, ramifications of a worldwide climate shock that would dramatically cool the Earth in a matter of months. The scenarios considered in the project included:
a.Regional nuclear war
b. Global nuclear war
c. Massive Asteroid Strike
d.Massive Volcanic Eruption
The initial report focused on Scenario B, the effects of global nuclear war. The primary objectives were to:
1.Explore the consequences of existential threats to humanity, using a major nuclear conflict as the primary scenario, on agricultural systems and food availability for survivors during the ensuing rapid changes in climate;
2.Develop and assess strategies for food production, storage, and dissemination following a global catastrophe.
My interest in this project stems from my concentration in the School of International Affairs here at Penn State: Non-Traditional Security. In my studies I have taken a deep dive into different types of security threats beyond those of conventional forces and engagements. This has ranged from climate change and income inequality to home-grown terror and WMD use. While working on this project, my hope was that a study on alternative food systems would never need to be implemented, as this would follow a total or partial collapse of our food system. With Coronavirus shattering our preconceptions of a stable supply chain, I fear this research will be of use much sooner than I had anticipated. My hope for this research is that it offers a clear picture to the public of the challenges of a global catastrophe and presents an opportunity for civil servants to ensure our food systems are more resilient.